INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana lawmakers are entering the second half of the legislative session
with more than 400 bills still alive, covering issues including teacher pay,
gambling and hate crimes.
The Indiana House
was on Monday considering Senate-approved legislation, while the state
Senate was evaluating proposed laws endorsed by the House. Measures that are
approved by both chambers will then be considered by Republican Gov. Eric
Indiana's two-year state budget plan would include $611 million for new
state and local funding for Indiana's schools. The bill doesn’t specify how school districts must use the
hope officials will use the money to fund teacher pay increases.
legislature tell the school districts exactly what to pay teachers is
problematic so we are trying to come up with other creative ways to help,”
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said.
would legalize sports wagering, including on mobile devices.
“What we are doing
in this bill would allow us to capture part of that market that already
exists,” Holcomb said. “I’m not quick to walk away from that.”
Another key piece
of legislation set for review is a proposed hate crimes law. Holcomb made a
public appeal regarding the bill after the state Senate removed a list of
specifically protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender
identity and race.
“The list is an
important statement,” said Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane. “We all have
a race. We all have a color, a sexual identity.”
that the government shouldn’t regulate what people think. Others are pushing
for the bill to include additional protections for political beliefs and
involvement in national groups.
Bills that didn’t
clear either chamber could still be amended into surviving legislation.
There are two
months remaining in the budget-writing session. The Republican-dominated
Legislature must draft a new two-year budget to fund school districts,
universities and state agencies before the session ends in late April.